over·​drive | \ ˈō-vər-ˌdrīv How to pronounce overdrive (audio) \

Definition of overdrive

1 : an automotive transmission gear that transmits to the drive shaft a speed greater than engine speed
2 : a state of heightened activity going into rhetorical overdrive

Examples of overdrive in a Sentence

He put the car into overdrive. His acting career is in overdrive. The reporters went into overdrive to finish their stories on time.
Recent Examples on the Web The Popeyes fried chicken sandwich in 2019 fired a shot in a space dominated by Chick-fil-A, and from there, the competition for new takes on the food went into overdrive. Nico Avalle, Bon Appétit, 23 June 2022 When the world locked down due to COVID, her fascination with online life went into overdrive. Alex Frank, Vogue, 21 June 2022 Speculation went into overdrive on Thursday, when more videos -- the authenticity of which cannot be confirmed -- emerged online. Nectar Gan, CNN, 20 June 2022 And the selloff kicked into overdrive earlier this week when crypto platforms Binance and Celsius halted trades. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 15 June 2022 Weeks-long quarantines, hard-to-find childcare, and general looming uncertainty have dialed my existing anxiety into overdrive. Kelley Manley, ELLE, 14 June 2022 Any recruiter can tell you that Covid-19 has shifted the war for talent into overdrive. John Feldmann, Forbes, 10 June 2022 Energy demand has been volatile for months because of inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pressing U.S. production and exports into overdrive. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 June 2022 But that is just one of the huge changes coming to Fear the Walking Dead — changes that were put into motion on the final two episodes 7 and are about to kick into overdrive in season 8. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 6 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overdrive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overdrive

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About overdrive

Time Traveler for overdrive

Time Traveler

The first known use of overdrive was in 1926

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near overdrive




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for overdrive

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overdrive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overdrive. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!